Alumni - Where are they now?
We would love to hear from former Lingfield College pupils and your stories of what you have achieved after you left the School. Please contact the Alumni Secretary, Susan Roe on firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Woolliams (previously Lawrence) – Class of 1977
Susan was at Notre Dame Convent School from 1970 to 1977, and left with 10 O Levels, 3 A levels (French, German, English Literature) and an S level in German. During her time at Lingfield Notre Dame she was a Deputy House Captain in Lower Sixth, and Head Girl in her last year.
Susan then went to Exeter University and graduated in 1980 with a BA in French, German and English Literature. During her time at Exeter she met her husband to be and they became engaged during their time away in France. They married in 1982 and the priest who married them was the School Chaplain at the time.
Susan worked in London for eight years, firstly for Visa International (banking, using languages), and then (for the remaining six years) in publishing (travel trade publishers, then London based magazines as Production Manager and later on the editorial side too). During the years bringing up her two children she became freelance, based at home in Suffolk, and did a mixture of publications design, translation, editorial work, and business journalism.
In 2001 Susan trained to be a modern foreign languages teacher and has been teaching ever since in various high schools in Suffolk and Norwich; teaching mostly French, but also German, Spanish and IT.
Two years ago, both children having moved away to get on with their lives and jobs, Susan decided to give up her Head of Department role and go part-time so she could enrol on the MA (part-time) in Biography and Creative non-fiction at the University of East Anglia. This has been a brilliant opportunity to look back in some detail at past times, and she has loved researching and writing about her school days, especially about her own teachers!
For the last five years, Susan has kept in touch with a growing group of pupils from her NDC cohort, and they have been meeting for reunions in Lingfield. They have a facebook group and are always in touch nowadays, even though some live as far away as the USA and Australia. “It's great to talk about our school experiences and compare memories.” Susan’s younger sister was also at the school and she sees her two best friends and their husbands on a regular basis, including every New Year!
Sophie Payne – Class of 2006
Sophie attended Lingfield from Nursery right through to the end of Sixth Form, leaving in 2006 after gaining her A Levels, before attending the University of Bristol to study Civil Engineering (MEng).
On completing her degree Sophie became professionally qualified with the Institution of Civil Engineers. Her technical discipline has been largely within the tunnelling industry working on major projects including High Speed Two, Crossrail, Thames Tideway Tunnel, Victoria Station Upgrade and many water industry schemes.
In 2017 Sophie won Engineer of the Year – Civils/Infrastructure award at the Women in Construction Awards.
Sophie is the Practice Manager for the Early Careers Team for the Transportation Engineering Division at Atkins for the South East, being responsible for the management of 40 graduates and apprentices across the region. She is also a Senior Project Manager responsible for the design delivery of some of the UK’s largest construction projects.
As well as the above, Sophie is also an active STEM ambassador, promoting engineering to school groups and is heavily involved with staff development, as well as recruiting graduates and apprentices for the Transportation Division of the business for the South East.
She has so many fond memories of the School from playing in the Orchard, the drill hall and the adventure playground. Sports Day when she was dragged along the ground by her older sister in a sibling race, after falling over at the start and being too slow to get up whilst in the Junior School (a competitive sportswoman!), getting lost in the school minibus on the way to hockey matches and of course the many adventures of the Duke of Edinburgh with Mr Harrison telling terrible jokes! Sophie remembers many wonderful teachers from her time at the School that they are too many to list and it is lovely to see a few of them still at the School.
Hannah Gill – Class of 2014
Hannah attended Lingfield from the age of two and half years, leaving in 2014 when she obtained A Level Maths, Biology and Chemistry, before going to Harper Adams University to study Animal Health and Welfare for four years. Hannah graduated September 2018 with a First BSc(Hons) Animal Health and Welfare.
Hannah loved her time on the course and particularly enjoyed completing her dissertation entitled “An investigation into owner and breeder awareness and knowledge of breed-specific diseases and genetic health testing in pedigree dogs”.
Hannah has now gone on to study for a further three years at Harper Adams in MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy where she will qualify after two years as a Veterinary Physiotherapist, with the final year giving her the Masters element of the course.
As of October 2018 Hannah is now the student member of the Dog Breeding Reformer Group Charity which aims to promote the welfare of pedigree dogs with regards to breeding practices and genetic health issues.
Hannah has many fond memories of LND, notable memories include the ski trip in Year 8, the Sixth Form production and break times spent in the Orchard during Junior School.
Anna Washington – Class of 2012
Anna started in the nursery at Lingfield Notre Dame (as it was then) in 1999 and left in 2012 at the end of Year 11 to attend The Chiltern Nanny College where she achieved a Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education, as well as the Chiltern Certificate. Anna loved her time at the College and went on to win Nanny of Year 2014.
Since leaving Chiltern she has gone on to be a live in nanny for three families, building up a lovely bond with all of the children she looked after. In between working as a nanny Anna has also achieved two ski seasons as a nanny, and is about to start her third year as Head Nanny in St Anton Austria in charge of a team of other nannies.
Anna loved sport whilst at Lingfield, and has actually continued to play in the Premier Netball League in both Newbury and High Wycombe. Anna has also completed three half marathons as well as having studied to be a Level 2 Fitness Instructor.
Christopher Aris – Class of 2012
Chris left Lingfield in 2012 gaining excellent results of AS Biology B, A2 History B, A2 Geography B and A2 Chemistry C. Chris then went to the University of Kent gaining a BSc (Hons) in Biological Anthropology before moving to the University of Sheffield were he obtained a MSc (hons) in Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology. Chris is still continuing to study at the University of Kent where he is in his final year of a PhD in Biological Anthropology.
One of his first professional roles on his studies, was an Assistant Osteological and Assistant Lab Manager for Kent Osteological Research and Analysis at the University of Kent. This role involves identification of human and non-human skeletal remains. This includes cleaning and preparing the remains to analyse if they are human and also their age, stature and gender.
Chris is currently employed by the University of Kent for a variety roles alongside his studies, however his primary role is a lab demonstrator and assistant lecturer. These roles see Chris regularly teach both undergraduate and postgraduates in the University teaching and research labs, as well as giving lectures on human osteology, dental anthropology, evolutionary anthropology and biological anthropology.
Chris’ secondary role is as official ambassador for the University itself, as well as for the School of Anthropology and Conservation. These roles see Chris do a wide spectrum of outreach work. This includes giving taster sessions and short seminars on his areas of expertise to school students across Kent and Sussex, as well as giving lectures on the same topics as well as university life and career tracks in anthropology and archaeology.
Chris has fond memories of teachers who inspired him and support him in his pursuit of science, namely: Mrs Folkard, Mrs Xerri, Mr Grant, Dr Paine, Mr Parham and the late Mr Sexton, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.
Chris does have one particular memory amongst many where the aforementioned Dr Pain gave a practical display of the effects of burning differing chemical substances “Sometimes I wonder if the scorch mark is still on the ceiling lab!”
Sophie May – Class of 2014
Sophie joined the School in Year 4 and then progressed through the Senior School, gaining excellent GCSE results of all A and A* grades, followed by an A* in Spanish A level, as well as A grades in Biology and Art before leaving in 2014.
Although very keen on languages, she decided to pursue a degree course in Public Relations at Lincoln University, having become interested in this career path after setting up her own blog while still in Year 10.
Sophie recently finished her degree course, graduating in September 2018, having already begun work in June 2018 in her first post as PR Assistant at Eden Public Relations in Nottingham. During the interview process, several panel members commented on her extensive and varied work experience, which certainly assisted her success in securing a position straight away.
Sophie remembers school life fondly, from being one of the two little blond girls in “lovely Mrs Launders’ class,” [the other one being Izzy Grace] to arguing with the boys in A level Spanish lessons. Whilst in Sixth Form Sophie also undertook extensive work experience in public relations in a number of different companies during her school holidays.
She headed off to Thailand for a two week guided group tour this summer, taking in an elephant sanctuary, temples and trekking to a village to stay in the homes of local people. Next year’s travel plans include an escorted group tour of Vietnam or Cambodia - if she can save up enough money!
Ellie Threlfall – Class from 2009
Ellie Threlfall left Lingfield Notre Dame in 2009 after obtaining three As in English Language, Philosophy and Drama. Ellie graduated from Newcastle in Media Communication and Cultural Studies with a 2.1.
Ellie’s first position was working as a Runner for Fremantle Media which involved looking after Dermot O’Leary on The X Factor. Ellie is now working freelance within production, having worked her way up from a Runner, Production Secretary, Production Co-Ordinator to a Production Manager. Ellie has worked on a variety of shows from TFI Friday, Richard Osman’s House of Games, Ducks Don’t Echo and Stand up for Cancer. She was particularly proud to work on SU2C where over £15 million for Cancer Research UK was raised. The latest shows she is working on for Remarkable TV includes Animal Ark, Pointless and All Together Now.
Ellie has fond memories of her time at Lingfield, including sleeping overnight on the Golden Hind, and wearing the most unflattering of leotards for gymnastics in the sports hall.
Ellie also states that her school friends are still some of her closest friends now.
Alex Colyer – Class of 2001
Alex left Lingfield in 2001 and attended Queen Mary University of London where she studied BEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering. After leaving university she joined the Royal Air Force after they sponsored her through sixth form and university.
Alex graduated from Initial Officer Training at RAF College, Cranwell in July 2005, before completing her Engineering Specialist Training in May 2006. Alex’s first post was as an OC Engineering Support Flight at RAF Aldergrove in Northern Ireland.
Since then Alex has completed three tours of Afghanistan, one with 15 UK Psy Ops Groups, spending seven months in Lashkah Gar, the capital of Helmand Province. Alex was also involved in founding the UK Female Engagement Scheme, liaising with the Ministry for Women’s Affairs and Operation Moshtarak. Alex has also had two other tours, one as a Junior Engineering Officer for the UK Chinook Force based out Camp Bastion, where she was responsible for the maintenance and serviceability of 10 aircraft including the Immediate Response Team or Medical Emergency Response Team. Alex has also served at RAF Marham, Norfolk, Joint Helicopter Command, Andover, Defence Equipment and Support at Bristol, as well as a second tour with Chinooks based at RAF Odiham.
Alex is currently the first female president and second engineer to a lead Service Inquiry investigating an aircraft accident. Alex is planning to move to RAF Benson, Oxford as the Senior Engineering Officer.
Alex has fond memories of Notre Dame, naming a large quantity of teachers, Mr Harrison being one of them!
James Price - Class of 2016
James left Lingfield College in 2016 after gaining 10 GCSEs, before attending Leigh UTC Engineering College in Dartford for a year. After deciding it was not for him, James decided to pursue a career within the Army.
In September 2017 James started his basic training in Pirbright, which after 14 weeks of incredible hard training he passed out as a solider in December 2017.
Since January 2018 James is now at Lyneham with the REME studying to be an armourer, and to quote “he is in his element”.
James has kindly sent in some photographs of his passing out parade.
Phillip Cox – Class of 2009
Phillip Cox was previously a pupil at Lingfield Notre Dame who left in 2009. Phillip obtained 3 A Levels (all AAA), 1 AS and 10 GCSEs. Phillip then attended the University of Exeter and obtained a BA in Management and French.
Phillip’s first position was with RBW Consulting, a specialist Pharmaceutical Recruitment Consultancy. He is now a Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist in Recruitment.
Phillip has fond memories of the School, especially the drama productions with Mrs Jolley, various schools trips and all the sports (apart from the summer holiday fitness sessions with Mr Parham!).
Liam O’Neill, Class of 2009
Liam was a previous pupil at Lingfield College (Lingfield Notre Dame) and left in 2009. He studied IT, Drama and Media before gaining a place at the University of Loughborough. Liam left university and joined an automotive PR agency before moving to Jaguar Land Rover where he became the Global Technology and Innovation Storyteller, a post which took him around the world to launch some of the most interesting future technology on some of the world’s most desirable cars.
Liam now heads up the PR function of The Advanced Propulsion Centre, a company that provides investment to car manufacturers and small businesses to help bring future automotive research into the electric and autonomous cars of the future.
Lingfield Notre Dame was the only school he attended, joining in 1996 at the age of five. Most of his best friends are still those that he made in Mrs O’Hara’s class in 1996, including his fiancée.